15 February, 2022 Member article

WaterKiosk Opens Largest Solar-powered Desalination Plant in Zanzibar

15 February 2022 – The young Nairobi-based company WaterKiosk Limited commissioned Zanzibar’s largest solar-powered water desalination plant on February 12, 2022. The water kiosk will supply Zanzibar’s largest hospital, Mnazi Moja Hospital in Stone Town, with 100,000 litres of clean drinking water per day. It is another milestone on Zanzibar’s road to becoming the first island state with a 100 percent solar-powered water supply.

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated even more clearly the essential role that hygienic drinking water plays for the population and the health sector. For years, clean drinking water was one of the biggest challenges facing Mnazi Moja Hospital in Zanzibar. With a capacity of 776 beds, it is the largest in the island state, and is at the forefront of the fight against the current pandemic. In order to ensure a safe supply of drinking water to the hospital in the future, the project for solar-powered water desalination was launched by the Nairobi-based company WaterKiosk Limited, its German affiliate and plant manufacturer Boreal Light GmbH together with the German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG). The construction of the plant, which treats 10,000 liters of water per hour, is supported by the develoPPP program, which DEG implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Zanzibar on the road to becoming the first island state with 100% solar-powered water sector

As part of its emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Zanzibar has decided to become the first island state in the world to operate its drinking water supply on 100 percent solar power. “When it comes to hospitals, water is not only water, but also medicine. We are proud to develop such an important project for supplying drinking water to hospitals in East Africa. Mnazi Moja is one of the largest of these hospitals and can be a great role model for off-grid island solutions where solar energy provides a sustainable solution.” said Dr. Beheshti, the managing director of Boreal Light GmbH. The solar-powered water desalination system at Mnazi Moja Hospital is powered by a 60 kWp solar array.

The President of Zanzibar as guest of honor at the opening ceremony

As guest of honor, the President of Zanzibar himself, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, officially inaugurated the Mnazi Moja WaterKiosk on February 12, 2022 in Stone Town. In addition to the President and representatives of the partner companies involved, other high-ranking guests from politics, business and development cooperation were present. Amongst them were The Minister Of Health, Hon. Mazrui, Dr. Katrin Borneman from the German Embassy in Tanzania, Ms. Antje Steiner and Mr. Daniel Alex from DEG, Mr. Mukhtar Karim, the President of the Lady Fatemah Charitable Trust and Boreal Light’s co-founder and CEO, Dr. Hamed Beheshti.

WaterKiosk Limited is a registered entity specialised on renewable energy solutions for water treatment facilities. The company installs, operates and maintains solar water desalination systems for off-grid communities around Africa. The systems are manufactured in Germany by the affiliate company Boreal Light GmbH and they are capable of delivering high quality hygiene drinking, irrigation, fish farm and sanitation water from any kind of high saline and polluted water resources. WaterKiosk ensures inclusivity in its model of operation ensuring impact-oriented results, engaging community stakeholders and promoting women as kiosk operators. WaterKiosk Limited was founded by Samuel Kinyanjui and Dr. Hamed Beheshti in 2018. Together with Boreal Light, WaterKiosk Africa has installed over 100 plants, which are mostly located in East Africa, and have over 300 employees.